The Fourth Industrial Revolution has begun, and there is wide agreement this revolution will involve cyber-physical systems with human-machine interaction and lots of data. But many still wonder what the revolution is about and what to expect as consumers and manufacturers.
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A new report urges the United States invest in emerging manufacturing technologies, saying the private sector can’t preserve US manufacturing by itself.
To compete in the fast-paced world of manufacturing, machinists look for no-compromise machine controls offering fast, precision programming of machine tools. The latest CNC systems from machine control developers include a new dual-function milling and turning control and several updated controls with embedded software routines that can significantly speed up CNC programming.
Lightweighting is so established it’s now part of marketing for new vehicles. Automakers routinely detail how much less models weigh than their predecessors. General Motors Co., for example, has said a range of its vehicles is anywhere from almost 250 lb (112.5 kg) to 700 lb (315 kg) lighter.
A key success factor for Industry 4.0 and IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) initiatives is the emergence of more and better sensors in machining centers, and even in the cutting tools themselves. These sensors provide the data and connectivity that are the foundation for the “factory of the future.”
Efficient manufacturing calls for coordinated systems of shop personnel, equipment and software. These systems increasingly include robotic technology, as manufacturers recognize the reliability, repeatability and flexibility that robots provide. According to the International Federation of Robotics, the number of industrial robots in use worldwide will increase to around 2.6 million by 2019, about one million more than in 2015. Approximately 70% of industrial robots are used in the automotive, electrical/electronics and metal and machinery industries.
Manufacturing competitiveness depends on working faster, smarter, and better, with the convergence of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices and smart sensors, software and data analytics.
Scientists at Rice University (Houston) are smashing tiny silver cubes into a hard target in order to make these metallic microcubes ultrastrong and tough by rearranging their nanostructures upon impact.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC; Urbana, IL) has a long, distinguished history and tradition in mechanical and applied engineering sciences, and the university will soon celebrate the opening of a long-planned, multi-million-dollar expansion to its Mechanical Science and Engineering (MechSE) building.
Nanodiamond material specialist Carbodeon of Finland has worked with metal finishing specialist CCT Plating of Germany, to develop a new electroless nickel, PTFE and nanodiamond composite coating.